Cassandra is Leaving is the thirty-fifth chapter of The Gift of a Best Friend. It was first published on January 6, 2017.
Chores are boring, even the ones at camp. I had to read reports for Chiron, and Jasmine had to clean the pegasus stables.
She actually liked that chore because she got to be with the pegasi, even if it did mean cleaning after them. Of course, with her powers, she can get them to help her, which is why she’s given that chore most of the time. Toothless was also helping her with that. He also liked the pegasi because he could have a flying race with them.
So, I was stuck doing the reports on my own. Cassandra came and helped me at the Big House after she was done with her chore.
I really wished the reports were written in Ancient Greek instead of English. My dyslexia was really getting in the way, but not when I read Ancient Greek like I’m supposed to. Cassandra taught me and Jasmine that. But Jasmine taught me to read English with my dyslexia.
While Cassandra and I were reading the reports, we were also watching the satyrs chase the dryads. If they caught them, they would give them a kiss. Every time they got close to catching them, they would turn themselves into trees and the satyrs would run into them. But they kept doing that.
“Are they idiots?” I asked.
“With nymphs?” Cassandra said. “Yes. Nymphs are nice, but they’re a total tease to satyrs, just like the daughters of Aphrodite.”
“I don’t see Grover there. Is he a smart satyr?”
“Grover’s still young. He won’t become like his brethren for a while.”
We continued reading reports and watching the crazy satyrs.
I saw Luke coming out of the arena, where he always is most of the time in camp, and Emily was with him. She’s started coming with us to camp and train. She even got to have her own Camp Half-Blood T-shirt and necklace.
Cassandra noticed them and turned away, but she kept glancing at them from the corner of her eye. She always did that whenever she saw them. When she’s near them, she glares at both of them.
“He didn’t want to hurt you,” I told her.
Cassandra looked at me, then sighed. “Whether he meant to or not, he still did.”
“But you miss him.”
“I wish I didn’t. That I wasn’t jealous. But that’s just my fatal flaw I guess: pride.”
“You wished you didn’t miss him?”
I suddenly remembered something from over a year ago, and it gave me an idea.
“Cassandra,” I said.
“Hmm?” she asked.
“I know how you can no longer miss him.”
She looked at me, confused. “What?”
I had her follow me to our cabin.
I went to my trunk at the foot of my bed and grabbed the brochure from the bottom of it and gave it to her.
“The Hunters of Artemis?” she asked.
I nodded. “They don’t like boys.”
“‘A wise choice for your future’,” she read from it out loud. “‘Immortality and what it means for you. A boy-free tomorrow.’” Cassandra laughed. “You don’t say.”
“So are you going to join?” I asked.
She handed me back the brochure. “Thanks, Annabeth. It may be a wise choice, and considering that’s all our mother is about is wise choices, I don’t think it’s for me.”
“Ok.” I took back the brochure and put it back in my trunk.
“I’ll get over my feelings for him eventually,” Cassandra said.
“It’s been a few months,” I said.
“I know. But it can take any amount of time to get over someone you . . . have feelings for.”
“You’ll understand when you’re older.”
I hated being told that, but I nodded.
A month later, something odd happened.
Jasmine and I were playing tag. We ran by our cabin and I noticed that the door was open. I looked in it and I thought I saw Cassandra sitting on the floor and she didn’t look like she was alone.
I stopped, forgetting that Jasmine was behind me. She ran into me and we both fell to the ground.
“Ow,” I said.
“Sorry, Annabeth,” Jasmine said. “Why did you stop?”
“I think something’s wrong with Cassandra.”
I stood up and ran into our cabin. She followed me. Cassandra was sitting on the floor, crying. And she wasn’t alone. Luke was sitting next to her, comforting her.
“Cassandra?” I asked.
They noticed us.
“What did you do to her now?” Jasmine asked Luke.
He looked hurt by her asking him that.
“He didn’t do anything to me this time,” Cassandra said. She wiped her tears away and stood up.
“What’s wrong?” I asked her.
“It doesn’t seem like nothing. You’re crying.”
“Annabeth,” Luke said. “If Cassandra says it’s nothing, it’s nothing.”
“Then why is she crying?”
“It’s just a girl thing,” she said.
“I’m a girl.”
“Yes, but a young one. I’m fine. I promise.”
I wasn’t sure that she was fine, but she smiled like she was.
“Ok,” I said.
“I’m sorry, Luke,” Jasmine said.
“For what?” he asked.
“For accusing you of hurting her again.”
“Oh. It’s ok. It’s not like I don’t deserve it.”
“No, Jasmine, I—”
“Luke,” Cassandra interrupted. “You know there’s no point in arguing with her.”
“You’re right. Thank you, Jasmine.”
She ran up to him and gave him a hug. He hugged her back.
“You two go back playing now,” he said after he pulled away from their hug. “Cassandra and I need to talk.”
“Ok,” I said. “Bye.”
“Bye, Luke,” Jasmine said. “Bye, Cassandra.”
“Bye,” she replied.
Then we left them alone in our cabin.
But it just got weirder.
Over the next two months, Cassandra and Luke had been talking privately to each other and whispering when we were around them. At first, Emily didn’t seem to like it, but now she was talking with them too.
Then, one day, we found Cassandra putting all of her stuff on her bed.
“What are you doing, Cassandra?” I asked.
“Oh. Hey, Annabeth, Jasmine,” she replied. “Umm, I’m going to leave camp for a while.”
“Why?” Jasmine asked.
“Is it because of Luke?” I asked
“What is it with you two?” Cassandra asked. “Why do you think that everything I do is because of him?”
“No. Not this time. Sort of.”
“Then why are you leaving?” Jasmine asked.
Cassandra touched her stomach in a weird way. “I did something . . . stupid a couple months ago, and it’s starting to show.”
“You did something unwise?” I asked.
She laughed a little bit. “Yes, I did something unwise.”
“What did you do?”
“I can’t tell you. Well, I can, but I don’t want to. The fewer people that know the better.”
“And Luke knows?” Jasmine asked.
“Yes. And Emily, and I think half of your family.”
“No. And the most annoying out of all of them is Luke. I mean, he’s being sweet about it and helpful, but annoying too.”
“How long are you leaving?” I asked.
“Six months at least. I’m going to be with my dad in L.A., but I’ll come back.”
I gave her a hug. Being with Jasmine for a few years I’ve started to hug more because she does. “I’ll miss you.”
She hugged me back. “I’ll miss you too. Both of you. Don’t tell any of our other siblings this, but you’re my favorite sister. You’re a little annoying, but still.”
“You can thank Jasmine for that.”
She laughed. Jasmine too.
“What are you going to do at your home?” I asked.
“Relax,” Cassandra replied. “I might go back to school. I haven’t decided yet. But one thing I do know that I’m going to do is focus on my architecture.”
I noticed that she did have a few architectural books on her bed, and they all were written in Ancient Greek.
“Be careful with the monsters,” Jasmine said.
“I will,” Cassandra replied. “I’m bringing a lot of Celestial bronze weapons with me just in case.”
Jasmine gave her a hug. Cassandra finished packing.
“Bye, girls,” she said. “I’ll see you both again in about six months.”
We gave her another hug, and off she went.
We watched her climb up Half-Blood Hill. When she got to the top, she turned around and waved goodbye to us. We waved back, then Cassandra went over the hill, and she was gone.
So why do guys think Cassandra is leaving for a while? What unwise thing do you think she did? I will tell you, the answer to that will not be revealed in this story for a long time.
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- Toothless (mentioned)